Steph Curry vs Steve Nash comparison: Evolution of the NBA

Steph Curry

Guards Stephen Curry and Steve Nash both helped revolutionise the point guard position in the NBA. With this they brought a new aspect of basketball into play.

Nash was drafted in the first round with the 15th pick back in 1996 by the Phoenix Suns, Curry was also drafted in the 1st round in 2009 but seventh overall by the Golden State Warriors.

Steve Nash would go on to play 18 seasons in the NBA with the Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks, and the Los Angeles Lakers. During his career he would win two MVP awards, make the All-Star team eight times, make the All-NBA team seven times alongside being the assist champion five times.

Despite Nash never winning an NBA Championship he was inducted into the 2018 Basketball Hall of Fame alongside such greats as Jason Kidd and Ray Allen

Curry has currently played 11 seasons in the NBA. All of these have been played as a Golden State Warrior. In this time Curry has won three NBA Championships, been a six time All Star and six-time All-NBA player, won two MVP’s, been a scoring and steal champion, both in the 2015-2016 season.

Two MVPs

Both Steve Nash and Stephen Curry won their two MVP (Most Valuable Player) awards back to back.

Nash won his during the 2004/2005 and 2005/2006 seasons while Curry won his during the 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 seasons.

During their back to back MVP seasons both Curry and Nash shot over 50% from two-point range and over 40% from three-point range.


Their shooting

When it comes to shooting Curry and Nash are similar. When it comes to their free throw shooting, they are both reliable with Nash shooting 90.4% from the free throw line and Curry sitting at 90.6%.

Even though Curry has taken nearly three times as many three pointers as Nash did, they are still close in this area as well. While Curry can shoot contested three’s, Nash was not so good, so he had to use his playmaking ability to get more open shots.

With Curry sitting on a 43.5% shooting percentage from three-point range Nash only just below him on 42.8% in an era where not many threes were shot and 35% was considered a top shooting percentage.

Unsurprisingly they are also similar from two-point range as well. Curry also takes more two-point shots per game with 8.9 to Nash’s 7.4. However, Nash has the slightly higher percentage shooting 51.8% while Curry is on 51.5%.

Passing of the torch

Depending on how you see this, it could be seen as a passing of the torch. Considering that Nash was more of a 2000’s player and Curry is a 2010’s player, Curry’s era succeeds Nash’s dominant spell.

Nash shot the three-point shot very well at a high percentage, but he did not shoot many per game having a career average of 3.2 per game and a career high of 4.7.

Then when Curry came into the NBA, he built on the foundations of Nash’s game. Curry took what Nash did with three-point shooting and took it to the next level by taking 8.2 three-point attempts per game. Curry has also had three seasons when he has shot on average over 10 three pointers per game.

Playmaking

Their playmaking may differ in the eyes of some fans, due to the era that Nash and Curry have played in Nash will have had more chance to show his playmaking ability.

Through the time that Steve Nash played in the NBA the three-point shot was not seen as important as it is now. This would lead to Nash having to be more of a playmaker than a scorer like Curry is now, even though he was a top scorer.

With Curry it is the other way around. In today’s era the three-point shot is used more than ever. This gives Curry less of a chance to show his playmaking ability because he has been taking 10.7 threes per game since the 2015/16 season (this is when the three pointers were starting to be shot a lot more.)

Due to this, Curry’s playmaking does go more under the radar even though he averages 6.6 assists for his career which shows he can move the ball around.

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About Lewis Stokes 13 Articles
I'm from the UK, very passionate about the NFL and NBA, I have also started watching more of the NHL and occasionally watch some MLB

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